Preferred Citation: Watson, Rubie S. In her autobiography, published in , Hsieh Ping-ying described her parents as having traditional attitudes about marriage. They had betrothed her as an infant to the son of a prominent and well-to-do family. Both her father and mother considered the fulfillment of this agreement essential to their family's honor. Her mother took charge of preparing the dowry, using money and materials she had been saving for more than ten years.
For instance, several of us have difficulty employing the vocabulary of dowry and indirect dowry, with the implication that these two are similar in that in either case the property ends up with the woman. Yang Marriage choices can be compared to market choices, with the various decision makers weighing an assortment of factors, including the age and attractiveness of their children, the supply of potential spouses, other Cat pee register on their resources, and so on. In The Development of Family and Marriage in Europe Goody brings these conceptions to bear on the complex historical changes in Western history from the Roman Empire to early modern times, showing that marriage forms do not flow automatically from economic structures but are complexly tied to Thousand wives of wu-ti institutions and ideologies. His evidence shows clearly that even at a considerable distance from the throne, marriages involved a significant distribution of wealth and privileges. In a daughter whom Duke Wen had wed to a loyal follower also yielded rank to another Wife Thousand wives of wu-ti that the latter's son could become her husband's heir TCCS ba [, Hsi 24].
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The unification of Anatolia was achieved by the Hittites and this region became the center of power for the Hittites. Yang Shao 6. One was that the work of Laozi whose family name was Li and to whom the Tang imperial clan traced its ancestry Thousnd, Tao Te Chingshould be added to the required reading for imperial university students. Seleucia, Thousand wives of wu-ti of the most important cities in the Parthian empire Thousandd in rebellion from A. The light cavalry was recruited from among the commoner class and acted as Thousand wives of wu-ti archers; they wore a simple tunic and trousers into battle. Osrhoene attempted to throw off the Roman yoke, however in wivse, its king Abgar IX was imprisoned and exiled to Rome and the region became a Roman province. But an admirer compared them to the rock in the middle of a torrent, which can retard but for a moment the progress of the impetuous stream. The official tests examined such things considered important for functionaries of the highly developed, bureaucratic government structure of the current imperial government. The colour is said to vary with the state of mind of the visitor. Wvies immediate cause, however, was Mithridates' attempt to replace Ariobarzanes of Cappadocia with his son Ariarathes Eusebes. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources.
His reign resulted in a vast territorial expansion and the development of a strong and centralized state resulting from his governmental reorganization, including his promotion of Confucian doctrines.
- Wu Zetian 17 February — 16 December ,   alternatively named Wu Zhao , Wu Hou Empress Wu , during the later Tang dynasty as Tian Hou , in English as Empress Consort Wu , was a Chinese sovereign who ruled unofficially as empress consort , power behind the throne , and later officially as regent , empress dowager , empress regnant.
- This is a comprehensive account of the history of Chinese Buddhism from the earliest times to the 15th Century.
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He adds, that though separated by a wide sea, it was his wish to have embassies passing and repassing between the two countries. When China entered into a fraternal treaty with the Hsiung-nu, the Shen-yu was treated with the greatest liberality. Moreover, his own country was also nearer them, so that his ministers, who were afraid of the Tartars, did not wish to move away, and, since the king was not free to arrive at a decision of his own choice, Chang K'ien was unsuccessful in inducing him to adopt his suggestion. The Son of Heaven thereupon first planted lucerne and vines on rich tracts of ground, and by the time that he had large numbers of 'heavenly' horses, and when many ambassadors from foreign countries arrived, by the side of Imperial summer palaces and other retreats one might see wide tracts covered with vineyards and lucerne fields. Dynasty abolished Emperor Zhongzong as Emperor of the Tang dynasty. These policies and ideals were those supported by Crown Prince Ju, and were finally realised years after his death.
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It was around this time that, in reaction to the large expenditures by Emperor Wu that had exhausted the national treasury, his agricultural minister Sang Hongyang conceived of a plan that many dynasties would repeat later: creating national monopolies for salt and iron.
The national treasury would further purchase other consumer goods when the prices were low and sell them when the prices were high at profit, thus replenishing the treasury while at the same time making sure the price fluctuation would not be too great. In BC, Emperor Wu started yet another territorial expansion campaign. Nearly a century earlier, a Chinese General named Wiman had taken the throne of Gojoseon and had established Wiman Joseon at Wanggeom-seong , modern Pyongyang , which became a nominal Han vassal.
When they got close to Han borders, She assassinated the general and claimed to Emperor Wu that he had defeated Joseon in battle. Emperor Wu, unaware of his deception, made him the military commander of the Commandery of Liaodong modern central Liaoning.
King Ugeo, offended, made a raid on Liaodong and killed She. In response, Emperor Wu commissioned a two-pronged attack one by land and one by sea against Joseon. Initially, Joseon offered to become a vassal, but peace negotiations broke down by the Chinese forces' refusal to let a Joseon force escort its crown prince to Chang'an to pay tribute to Emperor Wu. Han took over the Joseon lands in BC and established four commanderies. When the King of Dian surrendered, it was incorporated into Han territory with the King of Dian being permitted to keep his traditional authority and title.
Emperor Wu established five commanderies over Dian and the other nearby kingdoms. The various Xiyu kingdoms also strengthened their relationships with Han. Dayuan refused to give in to Emperor Wu's commands to surrender its best horses, Emperor Wu's ambassadors were then executed when they insulted the King of Dayuan after his refusal.
Emperor Wu commissioned Li Guangli , the brother of a favourite concubine Consort Li, as a general to direct the war against Dayuan. Emperor Wu also made attempts to try to intimidate Xiongnu into submission, but even though peace negotiations were ongoing, Xiongnu never actually submitted to becoming a Han vassal during Emperor Wu's reign.
Following Han's victory over Dayuan in BC, however, Xiongnu became concerned that Han could then concentrate against it, and made peace overtures. The ambassador, the later-famed Su Wu , would be detained for two decades. In 99 BC, Emperor Wu commissioned another expedition force aimed at crushing Xiongnu, but both prongs of the expedition force failed.
Li Guangli's force became trapped but was able to free itself and withdraw, while Li Ling , Li Guang's grandson, surrendered at the end after being surrounded and inflicting large losses on Xiongnu forces.
One year later, receiving an inaccurate report that Li Ling was training Xiongnu soldiers, Emperor Wu had Li's clan executed. Li's friend, the famed historian Sima Qian whom Emperor Wu already bore a grudge against because Sima's Shiji was not as flattering to Emperor Wu and his father Emperor Jing as Emperor Wu wanted , who tried to defend Li's actions, was castrated.
Rather, he assigned a supervisor to each prefecture, who would visit the commanderies and principalities in the prefecture on a rotating basis to investigate corruption and disobedience with imperial edicts.
He later resided at that palace exclusively, rather than the traditional Weiyang Palace , which Xiao He had built during the reign of Emperor Gao. About BC, due to the heavy taxation and military burdens imposed by Emperor Wu's incessant military campaigns and luxurious spending, there were many peasant revolts throughout the empire.
Emperor Wu issued an edict that was intended to suppress the peasant revolts: he made officials whose commanderies saw unsuppressed peasant revolts liable with their lives. However, this edict had the exact opposite effect, since it became impossible to suppress all of the revolts, officials would merely cover up the existence of the revolts.
He executed many people who made fake coins. In 96 BC, a series of witchcraft persecutions began. Emperor Wu, who was paranoid over a nightmare of being whipped by tiny stick-wielding puppets and a sighting of a traceless assassin possibly a hallucination , ordered extensive investigations with harsh punishments.
Large numbers of people, many of them high officials, were accused of witchcraft and executed, usually along with their entire clans. These witchcraft persecutions later became intertwined in succession struggles and erupted into a major catastrophe. Emperor Wu was ecstatic in having a child at such an advanced age 62 years old , and because Consort Zhao purportedly had a pregnancy that lasted 14 months the same as the mythical Emperor Yao , he named Consort Zhao's palace gate "Gate of Yao's mother.
While there was no evidence that he actually intended to do anything as such, over the next few years, conspiracies against Crown Prince Ju and Empress Wei arose that were inspired by such rumors.
Up to this point, there had been a cordial but somehow fragile relationship between Emperor Wu and his crown prince, who perhaps was not as ambitious as his father wished. As he grew older, the Emperor came to be less attracted to Ju's mother, Empress Wei Zifu , though he continued to respect her.
When he left the capital, the Emperor would delegate authority to Crown Prince Ju. Eventually, however, the two began to have disagreements over policy, with Ju favoring leniency and Wu's advisers harsh and sometimes corrupt officials urging the opposite.
The other officials then began to publicly defame and plot against him. Meanwhile, Emperor Wu was becoming more and more isolated, spending time with young concubines, often remaining unavailable to Ju or Wei. Jiang and others made many accusations of witchcraft against important people in the Han court. Jiang and Su decided to use witchcraft as the excuse to move against Prince Ju himself.
With approval from Emperor Wu who was then at the Ganquan Palace , Jiang searched through various palaces, ostensibly for witchcraft items, eventually reaching Prince Ju's and Empress Wei's palace. While completely trashing the palaces up with intensive digging, he secretly planted witchery dolls and pieces of cloth with mysterious writings. He then announced that he had found the items there during the search. Prince Ju was shocked, knowing that he was framed.
Prince Ju initially hesitated, wanting to speed to Ganquan Palace to defend himself before his father. But, when he found out that Jiang's messengers were already on their way, he decided to follow Shi's suggestion. Prince Ju sent an individual to impersonate a messenger from Emperor Wu to lure and arrest Jiang and the other conspirators. Su escaped, but Ju accused Jiang of sabotaging his relationship with his father, and personally killed Jiang.
With the support of his mother, Ju enlisted his guards, civilians, and prisoners in preparation to defend him. Su fled to Ganquan Palace and accused Prince Ju of treason.
Emperor Wu, not believing it to be true and correctly at this point believing that Prince Ju had merely been angry at Jiang, sent a messenger back to Chang'an to summon Prince Ju. The messenger did not dare to proceed to Chang'an, but instead returned and gave Emperor Wu the false report that Prince Ju was conducting a coup. The two sides battled in the streets of Chang'an for five days, but Liu Qumao's forces prevailed after it became clear that Prince Ju did not have his father's authorization.
Prince Ju was forced to flee the capital following the defeat, accompanied only by two of his sons and some personal guards. Apart from a grandson Liu Bingyi , who was barely a month old and thrown into prison, all other members of his family were left behind and killed. His mother, Empress Wei, committed suicide when Emperor Wu sent officials to depose her. Their bodies were carelessly buried in fields without proper tomb markings.
Prince Ju's supporters were brutally cracked down on and civilians aiding the crown prince were exiled. Emperor Wu continued to be enraged and ordered that Prince Ju be tracked down. However, he waited to issue a pardon for Prince Ju.
Knowing that their good-hearted hosts could never afford the daily expenditure of so many people, the Prince sought help from an old friend who lived nearby. However, this move exposed their whereabouts, and he was soon tracked down by local officials eager for a reward. Surrounded by troops and seeing no chance of escape, the Prince hung himself. His two sons and the family housing them died with him after the government soldiers eventually broke into the yard and killed everyone.
Emperor Wu, although greatly saddened to hear the death of his son, had to keep his promise and rewarded the officials. Even after Jiang Chong and Prince Ju both died, the witchcraft affairs continued. One final prominent victim was the general Li Guangli , who was Consort Li's brother and had prior victories over Dayuan and Xiongnu despite causing unnecessary losses with his military incompetence.
Liu and his family were immediately arrested and later executed. Li's family was also taken into custody. Li, after learning the news, used risky tactics to attempt a major victory against Xiongnu in order to build up a future standoff against Emperor Wu, but failed when some of his senior officers mutinied.
On his retreat, he was ambushed by Xiongnu forces. He defected to Xiongnu and Emperor Wu executed his clan soon after. By this time, Emperor Wu realized that the witchcraft accusations were often false accusations, especially in relation to the crown prince rebellion. In 92 BC, when Tian Qianqiu , then the superintendent of Emperor Gao 's temple, wrote a report claiming that Emperor Gao told him in a dream that Prince Ju should have only been whipped at most, not killed, Emperor Wu had a revelation about what had led to his son's rebellion.
He had Su burned and Jiang's family executed. He also made Tian prime minister. Although he claimed to miss Prince Ju greatly he even built a palace and an altar for his deceased son as a sign of grief and regret , he did not at this time rectify the situation where Prince Ju's only surviving progeny, Liu Bingyi , languished in prison as a child. The Prime Minister Tian he appointed was in favor of retiring the troops and easing hardships on the people.
Tian also promoted agriculture, with several agricultural experts becoming important members of the administration. Wars and territorial expansion generally ceased. These policies and ideals were those supported by Crown Prince Ju, and were finally realised years after his death.
By 88 BC, Emperor Wu had become seriously ill. With Prince Ju dead, there was no clear heir. Liu Dan, the Prince of Yan, was Emperor Wu's oldest surviving son, but Emperor Wu considered both him and his younger brother Liu Xu, the Prince of Guangling, to be unsuitable, since neither respected laws.
He decided that the only suitable heir was his youngest son, Liu Fuling, who was only six at that time. He therefore also chose a potential regent in Huo Guang , whom he considered to be capable and faithful, and entrusted Huo with the regency of Fuling.
He died in 87 BC, shortly after making Prince Fuling crown prince. Crown Prince Fuling then succeeded to the throne as Emperor Zhao for the next 13 years. Because Emperor Wu did not make anyone empress after Empress Wei Zifu committed suicide, and he left no instruction on who should be enshrined in his temple with him, Huo chose to enshrine Consort Li with Emperor Wu.
They lie buried in the Maoling mound, the most famous of the so-called Chinese pyramids. Huo Guang sent beautiful women there for the dead emperor.
Huo's clan was later killed and the emperor's tomb was looted by Chimei. Historians have treated Emperor Wu with ambivalence, and there are certainly some contradictory accounts of his life. He roughly doubled the size of the Han empire of China during his reign, and much of the territory that he annexed is now part of modern China. He officially encouraged Confucianism , yet just like Qin Shi Huang , he personally used a legalist system of rewards and punishments to govern his empire.
Emperor Wu is said to have been extravagant and superstitious, allowing his policies to become a burden on his people. As such he is often compared to Qin Shi Huang. His father saved many participants of Rebellion of the Seven States from execution, and made some work in constructing his tomb.
He used some of his wives' relatives to fight Xiongnu, some of whom become successful and famous generals. He forced his last queen to commit suicide. Out of the twelve prime ministers appointed by Emperor Wu, three were executed and two committed suicide while holding the post; another was executed in retirement. Emperor Wu's political reform resulted in the strengthening of the Emperor's power at expense of the prime minister's authority. The post of Shangshu court secretaries was elevated from merely managing documents to that of the Emperor's close advisor, and it stayed this way until the end of imperial era.
In BC, Emperor Wu conducted an imperial examination of over young scholars. Having been recommended by officials, most of the scholars were commoners with no noble background. This event would have a major impact on Chinese history, marking the official start of the establishment of Confucianism as official imperial doctrine. This came about because a young Confucian scholar, Dong Zhongshu , was evaluated to have submitted the best essay in which he advocated the establishment of Confucianism.
However, the fact that several other young scholars who scored highly on the examination but not Dong later became trusted advisors for Emperor Wu would appear to suggest that Emperor Wu himself at least had some actual participation. In BC, Emperor Wu founded what became the Imperial University, a college for classical scholars that supplied the Han's need for well-trained bureaucrats.
Various important aspects of Han poetry are associated with Emperor Wu and his court, including his direct interest in poetry and patronage of poets. Emperor Wu was also a patron of literature, with a number of poems being attributed to him.
The sound of her silk skirt has stopped. On the marble pavement dust grows. Her empty room is cold and still. Fallen leaves are piled against the doors. How can I bring my aching heart to rest? Emperor facilitated a revival of interest in Chu ci , the poetry of and in the style of the area of the former Chu kingdom during the early part of his reign, in part because of his near relative Liu An.
The Chuci genre of poetry from its origin was linked with Chu shamanism ,  and Han Wudi both supported the Chu genre of poetry in the earlier years of his reign, and also continued to support shamanically-linked poetry during the later years of his reign.
Emperor Wu employed poets and musicians in writing lyrics and scoring tunes for various performances and also patronized choreographers and shamans in this same connection for arranging the dance movements and coordinating the spiritual and the mundane. He was quite fond of the resulting lavish ritual performances, especially night time rituals where the multitudinous singers, musicians, and dancers would perform in the brilliant lighting provided by of thousands of torches.
The fu style typical of Han poetry also took shape during the reign of Emperor Wu in his court, with poet and official Sima Xiangru as a leading figure. However, Sima's initial interest in the chu ci style later gave way to his interest in more innovative forms of poetry. After his patronage of poets familiar with the Chu ci style in the early part of his reign, Emperor Wu later seems to have turned his interest and his court's interest to other literary fashions.
Another of Emperor Wu's major contribution to poetry was through his organization of the Imperial Music Bureau yuefu as part of the official governmental bureaucratic apparatus: the Music Bureau was charged with matters related to music and poetry, as lyrics are a part of music and traditional Chinese poetry was considered to have been chanted or sung, rather than spoken or recited as prose.
The Music Bureau greatly flourished during the reign of Emperor Wu of Han,  who has been widely cited to have founded the Music Bureau in BCE;  however, it seems more likely that there was already a long-standing office of music and that Emperor Wu enlarged its size as part of his governmental reorganization, changing its scope and function and possibly renaming it and thus seeming to have established a new institution.
The stated tasks of this institution were apparently to collect popular songs from different and adapt and orchestrate these, as well as to develop new material. Emperor Wu is one of the most famous emperors of ancient China and has made appearances in quite a lot of Chinese television dramas, examples include:.
The three novels, which center on the journeys of a former slave girl and the dragons in her care, loosely depict the first years of Emperor Wu's reign and includes a number of references to his quest for immortality. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Maoling , Xianyang, Shaanxi Province, China. See also: Southward expansion of the Han dynasty. See also: Han campaigns against Minyue. Further information: Han conquest of Nanyue. Further information: Xiongnu and Han—Xiongnu War. Main article: Han conquest of Gojoseon. This section needs additional citations for verification.
Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Further information: Southward expansion of the Han dynasty. Crisis and Conflict in Han China. Besides her career as a political leader, Wu Zetian also had an active family life. Although family relationships sometimes became problematic, Wu Zetian was the mother of four sons, three of whom also carried the title of emperor, although one held that title only as a posthumous honor.
One of her grandsons became the renowned Emperor Xuanzong of Tang. Mention of her in the English language has only increased their number. The exact birth name of Wu Zetian is no longer retrievable. Wu was her patronymic surname, which she retained, according to traditional Chinese practice, after marriage to Gaozong, of the Li family. During her life, and posthumously, Wu Zetian was awarded various official titles. Born Wu Zhao, she is not properly known as "Wu Hou" until receiving this title in , nor is she properly known as "Wu Zetian", her regnal name, until , when she took the title huangdi.
Various Chinese titles have been translated into English as "empress", including "empress" in both the sense of empress consort and empress regnant. Upon the death of the emperor, the surviving empress consort could become empress dowager , sometimes wielding considerable political power as regent during the minority of the male heir to the position of emperor.
Wu Zetian was the only woman in the history of China to assume the title of huangdi. Wu Zetian is said to be the only woman in Chinese history to wear the yellow robe as a monarch otherwise reserved for the sole use of the emperor, with the exception of empress dowager Liu of Song Dynasty.
The birthplace of Wu Zetian is not documented in preserved historical literature and remains controversial. She lived from 17 February [note 8] [note 9] — 16 December In the same year, a total eclipse of the sun was visible across China.
Her father Wu Shihuo was engaged in the timber business and the family was relatively well off. Her mother was from the powerful Yang family. After Li Yuan overthrew Emperor Yang, he was generous to the Wu family, providing them with money, grain, land, and clothing.
Wu Zetian was born into a rich family. She had servants at her disposal to perform routine tasks for her, so there were not many domestic jobs that Wu would ever have to learn. Because of this, Wu was encouraged by her father to read books and pursue her education. He made sure that his daughter was well-educated, a trait that was not common among women, much less encouraged by their fathers.
Wu did not seem to be the type of child who would want to sit quietly and do needlework or sip tea all day. So Wu read and learned about many different topics such as politics and other governmental affairs, writing, literature, and music. Wu grew and continued to learn as much as she could, with her father backing her every step of the way. At age fourteen, she was taken to be an imperial concubine lesser wife of Emperor Taizong of Tang.
It was there that she became a type of secretary. This opportunity allowed her to continue to pursue her education. She was given the title of cairen , title for one of the consorts with the fifth rank in Tang's nine-rank system for imperial officials, nobles, and consorts. Consort Wu, however, did not appear to be much favoured by Emperor Taizong, although it appeared that she did have sexual relations with him at one point. Emperor Taizong had a horse with the name "Lion Stallion", and it was so large and strong that no one could get on its back.
I was a lady in waiting attending Emperor Taizong, and I suggested to him, "I only need three things to subordinate it: an iron whip, an iron hammer, and a sharp dagger. I will whip it with the iron whip.
If it does not submit, I will hammer its head with the iron hammer. If it still does not submit, I will cut its throat with the dagger. Do you really believe that you are qualified to dirty my dagger? Li and Wu had had an affair when Taizong was still alive. Taizong had fourteen sons, including three to his beloved Empress Zhangsun — , but none with Consort Wu. Wu was to defy expectations, however, and left the convent for an alternative life.
After Taizong's death Li Zhi came to visit her and, finding her more beautiful, intelligent, and intriguing than before, decided to bring her back as his own concubine.
Wu progressively gained influence over the governance of the empire throughout Emperor Gaozong's reign, and eventually she effectively was making the major decisions. She was regarded as ruthless in her endeavours to grab power and was believed by traditional historians even to have killed her own daughter to frame Empress Wang and, later, her own eldest son Li Hong , in a power struggle. Gaozong became emperor at the age of Inexperienced and frequently incapacitated with a sickness that caused him spells of dizziness,  Gaozong was only made heir to the empire due to the disgrace of his two older brothers.
Empress Wang, seeing that Emperor Gaozong was still impressed by Consort Wu's beauty, hoped that the arrival of a new concubine would divert the emperor from Consort Xiao, and therefore secretly told Consort Wu to stop shaving her hair and, at a later point, welcomed her to the palace. Some modern historians dispute this traditional account, and some think that Consort Wu never had left the imperial palace and might have had an affair with Emperor Gaozong while Emperor Taizong was still alive.
In , she gave birth to her first child, a son named Li Hong. Neither of these sons were in contention to be Emperor Gaozong's heir because Emperor Gaozong had, at the request of officials influenced by Empress Wang and her uncle, the chancellor Liu Shi , designated his oldest son Li Zhong as his heir. By , both Empress Wang and Consort Xiao had lost favour with Emperor Gaozong, and these two former romantic rivals joined forces against Consort Wu, but to no avail. As the year continued, shortly after Consort Wu had given birth to her daughter, the baby died, with some evidence suggesting deliberate strangulation , including allegations by Wu, the child's mother.
Consort Wu accused Wang of murder. Emperor Gaozong was led to believe that Wang had the means to kill the child, and likely done so, motivated by jealousy. Wang lacked an alibi, and was unable to clear herself. Angry, Emperor Gaozong considered deposing Empress Wang and elevating Consort Wu to her position; but, first he wanted to make sure that the government chancellors would support this. So, Gaozong visited the house of his uncle Zhangsun Wuji , the head chancellor, together with Consort Wu later Emperor Gaozong would award Chancellor Zhangsun with much treasure.
During the meeting, Gaozong several times brought up the topic of Empress Wang's childlessness, a topic easily leading to an excuse sufficient to depose her; however, Zhangsun repeatedly found ways to divert the conversation.
However, speculation seems to continue. As traditional folklore tends to portray Wu as a power hungry woman with no care for who she hurt or what she did, the most popular theory is that Wu killed her own child in order to implicate Wang.
Other schools of thought argue that Wang indeed killed the child out of jealousy and hatred toward Wu since Wang had no children of her own. The third argument is that the child died of asphyxiation or crib death , considering that the ventilation systems of the time were non-existent or of poor quality. Lack of ventilation combined with using coal as a heating method could lead to a build-up of fumes that would lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. No matter what caused the death of the child, Wu blamed Wang for it and Wang was removed from her position as Empress.
On an occasion in the autumn of , Emperor Gaozong summoned the chancellors Zhangsun, Li Ji , Yu Zhining , and Chu Suiliang to the palace—which Chu deduced to be regarding the matter of changing who was the Empress. Li Ji claimed an illness and refused to attend. At the meeting, Chu vehemently opposed deposing Empress Wang, while Zhangsun and Yu showed their disapproval by silence. Why ask anyone else? Later that year, Empress Wang and Consort Xiao were killed on orders by the new Empress Wu after Emperor Gaozong showed signs of considering their release.
After their deaths, however, Empress Wu often was haunted by them in her dreams. For the rest of Emperor Gaozong's reign, Emperor Gaozong and she often took up residence at the eastern capital Luoyang and only infrequently spent time in Chang'an. In , Empress Wu and her allies began reprisals against officials who had opposed her ascension. The three of them, along with Liu Shi, were demoted to being prefects of remote prefectures, with provisions that they would never be allowed to return to Chang'an.
Zhangsun was exiled and, later in the year, was forced to commit suicide in exile. Orders also were issued to execute Liu and Han, although Han died before the execution order reached his location. It was said that after this time, no official dared to criticize the emperor.
In , Li Zhong, Gaozong's first-born son to consort Liu also was targeted. Li Zhong had feared that he would be next and had sought out advice of fortune tellers.
Wu had him exiled and placed under house arrest. In , Emperor Gaozong and Empress Wu toured Bian Prefecture modern-day Taiyuan , and Empress Wu had the opportunity to invite her old neighbors and relatives to a feast. It was said that Empress Wu had quick reactions and understood both literature and history, and therefore, she was making correct rulings. Thereafter, her authority rivaled Emperor Gaozong's. By , Empress Wu was said to be interfering so much in the imperial governance that she was angering Emperor Gaozong.
He consulted the chancellor Shangguan Yi , who suggested that he depose Empress Wu. He had Shangguan draft an edict, but as Shangguan was doing so Empress Wu received news of what was happening. She went to the emperor to plead her case, just as he was holding the edict that Shangguan had drafted. Emperor Gaozong could not bear to depose her, blaming the episode on Shangguan.
After Shangguan Wan'er grew up, she eventually became a trusted secretary for Empress Wu. At a feast that Lady Yang held for them, however, Wu Weiliang offended Lady Yang by stating that they did not find it honorable for them to be promoted on account of Empress Wu.
Empress Wu, therefore, requested to have them demoted to remote prefectures—outwardly to show modesty, but in reality to avenge the offense to her mother. Wu Yuanqing and Wu Yuanshuang died in effective exile. Meanwhile, in or before , Lady of Han died as well, and after her death, Emperor Gaozong created her daughter the Lady of Wei and considered keeping her in the palace—possibly as a concubine—but did not immediately do so, as he feared that Empress Wu would be displeased.
It was said that Empress Wu heard of this and was nevertheless displeased, and she had the Lady of Wei poisoned, by placing poison in food offerings that Wu Weiliang and Wu Huaiyun had made and then blaming Wu Weiliang and Wu Huaiyun for the murder.
Wu Weiliang and Wu Huaiyun were executed. In , Wu's mother, Lady Yang, died and by Emperor Gaozong's orders, all of the imperial officials and their wives attended her wake and mourned her.
Later that year, with the realm suffering from a major drought, Empress Wu offered to be deposed, an offer Emperor Gaozong rejected. He further posthumously honored Wu Shihuo who had previously been posthumously honored as the Duke of Zhou and Lady Yang by giving them the titles of the Prince and Princess of Taiyuan.
As it was becoming clear, however, that he was suspecting Empress Wu of having murdered his sister, Empress Wu began to take precautions against him, he also was said to have had an incestuous relationship with his grandmother Lady Yang.
Helan Minzhi was exiled and either was executed in exile or committed suicide. In , with Emperor Gaozong's illness getting worse, he considered having Empress Wu formally rule as regent.
The chancellor Hao Chujun and the official Li Yiyan both opposed this, and he did not formally make her regent. Also in , a number of people would fall victim to Empress Wu's ire. Princess Zhao was therefore accused of unspecified crimes and put under arrest, eventually being starved to death. Zhao Gui and Princess Changle were exiled. Meanwhile, later that month, Li Hong, the Crown Prince—who had been urging Empress Wu not to exercise so much influence on Emperor Gaozong's governance and who had offended Empress Wu by requesting that his half-sisters, Consort Xiao's daughters, Princess Yiyang and Xuancheng, who had been under house arrest, be allowed to marry—died suddenly.
Traditional historians generally believed that Empress Wu poisoned Li Hong to death. In late , Emperor Gaozong died while at Luoyang. Li Zhe took the throne as Emperor Zhongzong , but Empress Wu retained authority as empress dowager and regent.
Wu already had poisoned the crown prince Li Hong and had enough other princes exiled that her third son, Li Zhe , had been made heir apparent. Furthermore, Gaozong's will included provisions that Li Zhe should ascend immediately to the imperial throne, and that he should look to Empress Wu in regard to any important matter, either military or civil. Emperor Zhongzong was under the thumb of his wife, the empress Wei, even appointing his father-in-law prime minister.
What would be wrong even if I gave the empire to Wei Xuanzhen? Why do you care about Shizhong so much? Emperor Zhongzong was reduced to the title of Prince of Luling and exiled. Wu had her youngest son Li Dan made emperor, as Emperor Ruizong. She was the ruler, however, both in substance and appearance as well.
Wu did not even follow the customary pretense of hiding behind a screen or curtain and, in whispers, issued commands for the nominal ruler to formally announce. Ruizong never moved into the imperial quarters, appeared at no imperial function, and remained a virtual prisoner in the inner quarters. The early part of her reign was characterized by secret police terror, which moderated as the years went by. She was, on the other hand, recognized as a capable and attentive ruler even by traditional historians who despised her, and her ability at selecting capable men to serve as officials were admired throughout the rest of the Tang dynasty as well as in subsequent dynasties.
Although Emperor Ruizong held the title of emperor, Empress Dowager Wu held onto power even more firmly, and the officials were not allowed to meet with Emperor Ruizong, nor was he allowed to rule on matters of state.
Rather, the matters of state were ruled on by Empress Dowager Wu. At the suggestion of her nephew Wu Chengsi, she also expanded the ancestral shrine of the Wu ancestors and gave them greater posthumous honours. In , Empress Dowager Wu offered to return imperial authorities to Emperor Ruizong, but Emperor Ruizong, knowing that she did not truly intend to do so, declined, and she continued to exercise imperial authority. The rebellion initially drew much popular support in the region, however, Li Jingye progressed slowly in his attack and did not take advantage of that popular support.
Meanwhile, Pei suggested to Empress Dowager Wu that she return imperial authority to the Emperor and argued that doing so would cause the rebellion to collapse on its own. This offended her, and she accused him of being complicit with Li Jingye and had him executed; she also demoted, exiled, and killed a number of officials who, when Pei was arrested, tried to speak on his behalf. Li Jingye fled and was killed in flight. By , Empress Dowager Wu began to carry on an affair with the Buddhist monk Huaiyi and during the next few years, Huaiyi would be bestowed with progressively greater honours.
Meanwhile, she installed copper mailboxes outside the imperial government buildings to encourage the people of the realm to report secretly on others, as she suspected many officials of opposing her. Exploiting these beliefs of hers, secret police officials, including Suo Yuanli , Zhou Xing , and Lai Junchen , began to rise in power and to carry out systematic false accusations, tortures, and executions of individuals.
Wu summoned senior members of Tang's Li imperial clan to Luoyang. The imperial princes worried that she planned to slaughter them and secure the throne for herself: thus, they plotted to resist her. The other princes were not yet ready, however, and did not rise, and forces sent by Empress Dowager Wu and the local forces crushed Li Chong and Li Zhen's forces quickly.
Even Princess Taiping's husband Xue Shao was implicated and starved to death. In the subsequent years, there continued to be many politically motivated massacres of officials and Li clan members.
In , Wu took the final step to become the empress regnant of the newly proclaimed Zhou dynasty , and the title Huangdi. Traditional Chinese order of succession akin to the Salic law in Europe did not allow a woman to ascend the throne, but Wu Zetian was determined to quash the opposition and the use of the secret police did not subside, but continued, after her taking the throne. While her organization of the civil service system was criticized for its laxity of the promotion of officials, nonetheless, Wu Zetian was considered capable of evaluating the performance of the officials once they were in office.
Even though the Empress Dowager [note 12] excessively used official titles to cause people to submit to her, if she saw that someone was incompetent, she would immediately depose or even execute him. She grasped the powers of punishment and award, controlled the state, and made her own judgments as to policy decisions. She was observant and had good judgment, so the talented people of the time also were willing to be used by her.
She also enshrined seven generations of Wu ancestors at the imperial ancestral temple, although she also continued to offer sacrifices to the Tang emperors Gaozu, Taizong, and Gaozong.
She faced the issue of succession. At the time she took the throne, she created Li Dan, the former Emperor Ruizong, crown prince, and bestowed the name of Wu on him. Wu Zetian was tempted to do so, and when the chancellors Cen Changqian and Ge Fuyuan opposed sternly, they, along with fellow chancellor Ouyang Tong , were executed. Nevertheless, she declined Wang's request to make Wu Chengsi crown prince, but for a time allowed Wang to freely enter the palace to see her.
On one occasion, however, when Wang angered her by coming to the palace too much, she asked the official Li Zhaode to batter Wang—and Li Zhaode took the opportunity to batter Wang to death, and his group of petitioners scattered. Li Zhaode then persuaded Wu Zetian to keep Li Dan as crown prince—pointing out that a son was closer in relations than a nephew, and also that if Wu Chengsi became emperor, Emperor Gaozong would never again be worshiped.
Wu Zetian agreed, and for some time did not reconsider the matter. Li Dan, fearful that he was to be next, did not dare to speak of them. When Wei further planned to falsely accuse Li Dan, however, someone else informed on her, and she was executed. There were then accusations that Li Dan was plotting treason, and under Wu Zetian's direction, Lai launched an investigation. Lai arrested Li Dan's servants and tortured them—and the torture was such that many of them were ready to falsely implicate themselves and Li Dan.
One of Li Dan's servants, An Jincang , however, proclaimed Li Dan's innocence and cut his own belly open to swear to that fact. When Wu Zetian heard of what An did, she had doctors attend to An and barely save his life, and then ordered Lai to end the investigation, thus saving Li Dan. In , Li Zhaode, who had become powerful after Wu Chengsi's removal, was thought to be too powerful and Wu Zetian removed him. During this time, Wu briefly claimed to be and adopted the cult imagery of Maitreya in order to build popular support for her reign.
Subsequently, she also put Huaiyi to death. After this incident, she appeared to pay less attention to mysticism and became even more dedicated than before to the affairs of state. Wu Zetian's administration was soon in for various troubles on the western and then northern borders, however. A much more serious threat arose in summer Armies that Wu Zetian sent to suppress Li and Sun's rebellion were defeated by Khitan forces, which in turn attacked Zhou proper. Meanwhile, Qapaghan Qaghan of the Second Turkic Khaganate offered to submit, and yet was also launching attacks against Zhou and Khitan—including an attack against Khitan base of operations during the winter of , shortly after Li's death, that captured Li's and Sun's families and temporarily halted Khitan operations against Zhou.
In summer , Ashina Mochuo launched another attack on Khitan's base of operations, and this time, after his attack, Khitan forces collapsed and Sun was killed in flight, ending the Khitan threat.
Meanwhile, also in , Lai Junchen, who had at one point lost power but then had returned to power, falsely accused Li Zhaode who had been pardoned of crimes, and then planned to falsely accuse Li Dan, Li Zhe, the Wu clan princes, and Princess Taiping, of treason. The Wu clan princes and Princess Taiping acted first against him, accusing him of crimes, and he and Li Zhaode were executed together.
After Lai's death, the reign of the secret police largely ended. Gradually, many of the victims of Lai and the other secret police officials were exonerated posthumously. Around , Wu Chengsi and another nephew of Wu Zetian's, Wu Sansi , the Prince of Liang, were repeatedly making attempts to have officials persuade Wu Zetian to create one of them crown prince—again citing the reason that an emperor should pass the throne to someone of the same clan.
Di Renjie, who by now had become a trusted chancellor, was firmly against the idea, however, and proposed that Li Zhe be recalled instead. He was supported in this by fellow chancellors Wang Fangqing and Wang Jishan , as well as Wu Zetian's close advisor Ji Xu , who further persuaded the Zhang brothers to support the idea as well. In spring , Wu Zetian agreed and recalled Li Zhe from exile.
Later, Ashina Mochuo demanded a Tang dynasty prince for marriage to his daughter, part of a plot to join his family with the Tang, displace the Zhou, and restore Tang rule over China under his influence. In , however, at least the Tibetan threat would cease. Emperor Tridu Songtsen , unhappy that Gar Trinring was monopolizing power, took an opportunity when Trinring was away from the capital Lhasa to slaughter Trinring's associates.
He then defeated Trinring in battle, and Trinring committed suicide. After this, the Tibetan Empire was under internal turmoil for several years, and there was peace for Zhou on the border. Also in , Wu Zetian, realizing that she was growing old, feared that after her death, Li Xian and the Wu clan princes would not be able to have peace with each other, and she made him, Li Dan, Princess Taiping, Princess Taiping's second husband Wu Youji a nephew of hers , the Prince of Ding, and other Wu clan princes to swear an oath to each other.
As Wu Zetian grew older, Zhang Yizhi and Zhang Changzong became increasingly powerful, and even the princes of the Wu clan flattered them. She also increasingly relied on them to handle the affairs of state. She ordered the three of them to commit suicide. Despite her old age, however, Wu Zetian continued to be interested in finding talented officials and promoting them.
Individuals she promoted in her old age included, among others, Cui Xuanwei and Zhang Jiazhen. They initially got Wei's subordinate Zhang Shuo to agree to corroborate the charges, but once Zhang Shuo was before Wu Zetian, he instead accused Zhang Yizhi and Zhang Changzong of forcing him to bear false witness.
As a result, Wei, Gao, and Zhang Shuo were exiled, but escaped death. In winter , Wu Zetian became seriously ill for a period, and only the Zhang brothers were allowed to see her; the chancellors were not.
This led to speculation that Zhang Yizhi and Zhang Changzong were plotting to take over the throne, and there were repeated accusations of treason. Once her condition improved, Cui Xuanwei advocated that only Li Xian and Li Dan be allowed to attend to her—a suggestion that she did not accept.
After further accusations against the Zhang brothers by Huan and Song Jing , Wu Zetian allowed Song to investigate, but before the investigation was completed, she issued a pardon for Zhang Yizhi, derailing Song's investigation. By spring , Wu Zetian was seriously ill again. They then reported to her that the Zhang brothers had been executed for treason, and they then forced her to yield the throne to Li Xian.
On 21 February, an edict was issued in her name that made Li Xian regent, and on 22 February, an edict was issued in her name passing the throne to Li Xian. Wu Zetian proclaimed herself as the ruler of the " Zhou dynasty ", named after the historical Zhou dynasty — BC ; and, thus, from to the Chinese Empire was known as the Zhou dynasty. The traditional historical view, however, is to discount Wu's "Zhou dynasty": dynasties by definition involve the succession of rulers from one family: Wu's "Zhou dynasty" was founded by her, and ended within her lifetime, with her abdication This does not meet the traditional concept of a dynasty.
The alternative, is to view Wu's "Zhou dynasty" as the revival of the generally historically-accepted historical Zhou dynasty, which had been ruled at least nominally by the Ji family, almost a thousand years before. Either way, Wu's Zhou dynasty is best viewed as a brief interruption of the Li family's Tang dynasty, rather than as a fully realized dynasty.
Her claim of founding a new dynasty, however, was little opposed at the time Though the fifteen years of Wu Zetian's Zhou dynasty had its own notable characteristics, these are difficult to separate from Wu's reign of power, which lasted for about half of a century. Wu Zetian's consolidation of power in part relied on a system of spies. She used informants to choose persons to eliminate, a process which peaked in , with the wholesale demotion, exile, or killing of various aristocratic families and scholars, furthermore prohibiting their sons from holding office.
One apparatus of government which fell into Wu's power was the imperial examination system: the basic theory and practice of which was to recruit into government service those men who were the best educated, talented, and having the best potential to perform their duties, and to do so by testing a pool of candidates in order to determine this objectively. This pool was male only, and the qualified pool of candidates and resulting placements into official positions was on a relatively small scale at the time of Wu's assuming control of government.
The official tests examined such things considered important for functionaries of the highly developed, bureaucratic government structure of the current imperial government. The qualities sought in a candidate for government service included determining the potential official's level of literacy in terms of reading and writing as well as his possession of the specific knowledge considered necessary and desirable for a governmental official, such as Confucian precepts on the nature of virtue and theory on the proper ordering of and relationships within society.
Wu Zetian continued to use the imperial examination system to recruit civil servants, and she introduced major changes in regard to the system that she inherited, including increasing the pool of candidates permitted to take the test, by allowing commoners and gentry, who were previously disqualified by their background, to take them.
Another thing she did was to expand the governmental examination system and to greatly increase the importance of this method of recruiting government officials, which she did in Wu Zetian eliminated many of her real, potential, or perceived rivals to power by means of death including execution, suicide by command, and more-or-less directly killing people , demotion, and exile.
Mostly this was carried out by her secret police, led by individuals like Wao Ganjun and Lai Junchen —who were known to have written a document called the Manual of Accusation , which detailed steps for interrogation and obtaining confessions by torture. Wu targeted various individuals, including many in her own family and her extended family.
In reaction to an attempt to remove her from power, in , she massacred twelve entire collateral branches of the imperial family. The old area of the Qin state was later referred to as Guanzhong , literally, the area "within the fortified mountain passes".
Seeking Lost Story - The Thousand Wives of Wu Ti ・ redditery ・ girlscontrolled
Preferred Citation: Watson, Rubie S. In her autobiography, published in , Hsieh Ping-ying described her parents as having traditional attitudes about marriage. They had betrothed her as an infant to the son of a prominent and well-to-do family. Both her father and mother considered the fulfillment of this agreement essential to their family's honor. Her mother took charge of preparing the dowry, using money and materials she had been saving for more than ten years. She supervised workmen who spent several months constructing and lacquering forty pieces of furniture.
She had quilts and mosquito nets made. She called in tailors to make clothes for each season. When Ping-ying urged her mother not to have too many dresses made, as styles might change, her mother replied:. To be a bride and not to have many dresses would be looked down upon by others.
Many people have to sell their fields and their property to prepare a trousseau for their daughters. When your elder sister's husband's family married off their daughter they had thirty-two silk coverlets and twenty-eight woolen blankets, but I know that they had to sell their rice field to make a show.
Although I like to do my best for my daughters, I do not hold that people should really dispose of their property handed down to them by their ancestors in order to be luxurious in the wedding ceremony. If the trousseau is not too modest, that is sufficient. Hsieh Ping-ying, Autobiography of a Chinese Girl , trans. Tsui Chi [; reprint, London: Pandora, ], p. But the wedding itself never took place because, after three attempts, Ping-ying ran away from her parents' house, where she had been confined under close watch.
This volume is a collaborative effort to explore the social and historical bases of the marriage system that Hsieh Ping-ying's parents took for granted. What logic led to betrothals in infancy? What social or economic realities.
What definitions of honor would lead parents to imprison a daughter rather than allow an engagement to be broken? We asked a group of historians and social scientists to look beyond the descent paradigm, which has been so dominant in our thinking about Chinese kinship, to discern ways marriage was implicated in the formation of group identities, political and economic networks, mobility strategies, and differentiation by gender.
We started with the proposition that marriage is inevitably linked to social and economic hierarchies and that it both structures and is structured by relations of inequality. On the assumption that the links between marriage and other social formations may have varied by class and changed over time, we invited participants with expertise in a wide range of time periods and social groups.
As organizers of the conference and editors of the volume, our previous interests in marriage, kinship, and gender relations colored our original charge. We were fortunate to assemble a group of historians and social scientists who both complemented our interests and broadened our horizons.
Taken as a whole the chapters in this volume show that marriage was deeply involved in the exercise and manipulation of political power, in the creation and distribution of prestige, and in the structuring of gender relations. Despite our emphasis on discerning and analyzing change, we found continuities across time striking: from the classical period to the Revolution of there were similarities in exogamy rules, wedding rituals, and the treatment of women.
Yet the authors also present evidence of change in monogamy, divorce, dowry, and symbolic uses of marriage that they relate to alterations in the composition of the elite and the commercialization of the economy. Those familiar with marriage systems elsewhere in Asia and Europe will recognize similarities in the ways honor and property came to be tied to marriage in China.
Yet dowry in China, we argue, also had some unique characteristics. Confucian ideology—with its stress on patriliny over matrilateral and affinal ties—combined with legal restrictions on women's claims to property created a dowry complex distinct from the ones found in Europe and India.
Mellon Foundation. We are indebted to them for their support. The general arguments presented in the Introduction and Afterword, as well as. We are also grateful to Stevan Harrell, who took time from a busy schedule to read the final manuscript with care and provide us with constructive criticism.
We are pleased to acknowledge this help. Inequalities of many sorts characterized Chinese society. During the imperial period, the emperor outranked all of his subjects.
Members of the imperial family and clan possessed titles, rank, privileges, and stipends that distinguished them from the rest of society. Government officials were set above commoners by their access to wealth and power and enormous social prestige.
Crosscutting these political inequalities were social, economic, and geographic ones. Merchants and large landowners could dominate their communities through their control of resources; educated families of established reputations could expect deference based on their culture, history, manners, and style; residents of cities in economically developed areas had social, economic, and even political advantages over rural residents in the hinterlands.
And throughout society, from the imperial court to the peasant household, men outranked women. In the twentieth century traditional political inequalities lost their legal force, and after most of the old sources of economic inequality, especially the private ownership of land, were eliminated. In addition, the state promoted greater legal equality of men and women in matters of marriage and property ownership.
Yet in the second half of the twentieth century new sources of inequality emerged, such as class labels, party membership, and city residence. The authors of this book examine the relation between marriage and these social, political, and economic inequalities.
Inequality has not been a neglected topic in Chinese studies. The imperial institution, the civil service recruitment system, the distribution of landholding, and the ideology of class and gender differentiation have all been studied in detail. Little research has been devoted, however, to the mechanisms or processes through which inequalities were reproduced or transformed over time.
Marriage also is not a neglected topic. Anthropological and sociological studies of China generally. Wolf , Ahern , Cohen , Freedman , A. Wolf and Huang , Watson , Croll Yet little attention has been given to the ways marriage mediated inequality or inequalities structured marriage.
In this volume we investigate these processes and mechanisms by focusing on how marriage relates to three forms of inequality: the political power of rulers; the social and economic differences among families; and the inequalities between men and women and among women. Because our goal is to discover the broad outlines of these processes, we examine marriage in a wide range of social settings from very early to very recent times.
Before introducing the chapters in this volume, we must place our discussion in a broad theoretical and comparative framework. Whenever a marriage takes place, the standing of every party is somewhat different from what it had been.
Almost invariably at least one person, the husband or wife, changes residence. In many cases control over wealth changes hands. In China, where most of the family estate was transmitted to patrilineal descendants, it was fairly common for some property to be diverted to daughters as dowries. Marriages regularly allocate privileges, claims, and obligations, usually in different ways for men and women.
In the Chinese case, in a patrilocal marriage the husband gained sexual access to his wife and his patriline gained claims to her labor and the children she would bear. But the wife also gained privileges through marriage, such as the claim to maintenance on her husband's estate and a place of honor in ancestral rites. Marriages everywhere confer honor: individual men and women become recognized adults by marrying; at the same time families gain in standing by marrying their children respectably.
In most societies weddings are great occasions for displaying status; sometimes more is spent on the ritual festivities than on the durable items that end up in the dowry as families perform the rites elaborately to confirm or enhance their status. Viewed from the perspective of the individual family, every marriage provides a chance to gain or lose economically or socially.
Marriages are thus occasions for thinking tactically, for balancing many considerations. A family head need not make similar matches for each daughter; in one case he may seek useful affines, in another emphasize the financial considerations, in a third think first of his daughter's welfare. Marriage choices can be compared to market choices, with the various decision makers weighing an assortment of factors, including the age and attractiveness of their children, the supply of potential spouses, other demands on their resources, and so on.
In the Chinese context the flexibility of marriage decisions stands in contrast to. Because property had to be divided among all sons, parents had little leeway to manipulate in favor of one heir or another. Viewed from the larger society, however, the range of possibilities open for each match fades. Certain types of marriage systems structure the ways wealth, power, and status are distributed in the society from one family to another and from one generation to another and the ways rights, privileges, and honor are assigned differentially to men and women.
Jack Goody has developed the most influential model of the structural consequences of systems of marriage exchange. In "Bridewealth and Dowry in Africa and Eurasia" Goody distinguishes between those societies that transmit property through daughters via dowry or inheritance including to some degree most of the state-based societies of Eurasia and those that do not notably the bridewealth societies of Africa.
He argues that societies with "diverging devolution" the same types of property passing through both men and women whether through inheritance or dowry are marked by monogamy, family control of daughters' marriages, emphasis on virginity, strong ties between affines, greater class distinctions, and stronger women's property rights a set of characteristics I shall refer to here as the "dowry complex". Goody shows many logical links between these characteristics.
Where families send their daughters with dowries, Goody explains, they do not want misalliances and cannot risk letting daughters choose on the basis of attraction.
When marriages require matching property, property stays disproportionately in the upper classes, and class inequalities are thereby strengthened. Families providing portions for a daughter want some guarantee that the property will be used to her benefit, especially if she is widowed In some societies like China daughters did not regularly receive family property but could be residual heirs, that is, allowed to transmit the family property through uxorilocal marriages when there were no sons; these, too, Goody classes as societies practicing diverging devolution a In Production and Reproduction b Goody adds a developmental dimension to this model, linking diverging devolution to the introduction of the animal-drawn plow and the greater economic surplus it allowed.
Diverging devolution is thus also related to greater social and economic differentiation and the development of states. In this book he also analyzes concubinage and the inequality in the household created by an unbalanced marriage exchange i.
In The Development of Family and Marriage in Europe Goody brings these conceptions to bear on the complex historical changes in Western history from the Roman Empire to early modern times, showing that marriage forms do not flow automatically from economic structures but are complexly tied to dominant institutions and ideologies.
Goody's analyses, taken together, provide a new way to think about the linkage of gender and. Goody's studies do not show women relegated to a domestic sphere defined by the biology of motherhood, while men operate in a public sphere shaped by the political economy and the forces of history.
To the contrary, he describes a domestic domain shaped by productive processes and the transmission of property see Collier and Yanagisako Goody's work on marriage has been utilized by several China scholars Parish and Whyte ; Ebrey , ; Watson ; Holmgren His model provides an alternative to full reliance on the lineage model of Chinese kinship, which makes patrilineal kinship so central that transmission of property through women in uxorilocal marriage or via dowries appears to be a peripheral embellishment of little structural importance cf.
Freedman ; Baker Yet there are obstacles to wholesale acceptance of Goody's model: the relative weakness of women's legal claims to property in China; the fact that many, maybe even a majority, of marriages did not involve significant transfers from the bride's side; and the difficulty in characterizing China as either a dowry or a bridewealth society as both coexisted e. Moreover, it is not clear that a model designed to explain the broadest differences between dissimilar societies can also provide insight into the narrower differences that China scholars seek to understand, such as why dowry was more prominent in India than in China, or why dowries were more substantial in some parts of China than in others.
In some areas of north and central China, peasants are reported to have spent considerable sums on dowries Fei ; Yang , , ; Gamble ; Cohen In the south, especially in areas with dominant lineages, dowries among the poor were often modest affairs, costing the woman's family significantly less than the amount they received in betrothal girls see Kulp ; Watson Do differences in kinship organization or agricultural methods explain these differences?